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Auburn Football Program Committed NCAA Violations, Paid Players, Altered Grades: REPORT

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Auburn defensive tackle Mike Blanc (93) and safety Mike McNeil (26) celebrate their 17-14 victory over Mississippi State in their NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Auburn defensive tackle Mike Blanc (93) and safety Mike McNeil (26) celebrate their 17-14 victory over Mississippi State in their NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

The Auburn football program committed various NCAA recruiting violations, paid players and participated in academic fraud according to a report by Selena Roberts at Roopstigo.com.

A former Sports Illustrated writer and New York Times columnist, Roberts interviewed former Tigers safety Mike McNeil, former Auburn wide receiver Darvin Adams, former defensive end Mike Blanc, former defensive end Antoine Carter and other players from the team that won the BCS national title in 2011.

According to the report, three players claimed that the team was told nine players -- including running back Mike Dyer -- were academically ineligible for the national championship game in 2011. Blanc was quoted saying "Auburn found a way to make those dudes eligible."

CLICK HERE TO READ ROBERTS' FULL REPORT.

Blanc denied saying that in an interview with AL.com on Wednesday.

"That's not me. I don't know where she's getting this stuff from. That's definitely not me," Blanc told AL.com. "Mike McNeil said a lot of things and when she asked me some things, I said, 'OK, I've heard that, but I don't know for sure.'"

Blanc also took to Twitter to refute Roberts' report.


Mike Blanc
Man this article is outrageous and isn't true. The media will do anything for a juicy story smh

ESPN's Joe Schad reported on Thursday morning's SportsCenter that a family member of Dyer said the running back denied that he was in academic jeopardy of missing the title game.

Dyer did play in the BCS championship game, tallying 143 yards on 22 carries as Auburn defeated Oregon 22-19. Dyer was named Offensive Player of the Game.

Roberts joined SportsCenter on Thursday and was asked what she believed former coach Gene Chizik's role was in the scandal.

"Well I think everybody operates from top down," Roberts said. "It would be hard for me to believe he didn't know some of the things that were going on. It's such a huge operation, but really the coach is the CEO."

Auburn fired Chizik in November of 2012 after the Tigers went 3-9.

McNeil will go to trial next week on armed robbery charges more than two years after his arrest. In Roberts' report, McNeil's father suggested that the course of his son's case was affected by fears that he'd "expose the family secret" at Auburn.

Auburn police chief Tommy Dawson addressed the report with AL.com, refuting that he'd worked in conjunction with the university and withheld any information from McNeil's family.

"I'd like to be clear, I don't make any difference for a football player, a football coach, anybody," Dawson said. "I could care less what a football coach has to say. A football coach doesn't tell me how to run the Auburn police division."

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